Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
A Very Synthetic A Vs. B History  
User currently offlineAF1624 From France, joined Jul 2006, 644 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 7377 times:

Hello All,

Some are getting tired of the ever-lasting A vs. B debate going on in here an elsewhere, some love it - but most of all, some, who are not aviation nuts, don't necessarily understand it.

I see myself trying to explain the A vs. B history, since basically the outset, to my 13 year old sister who pretty much knows nothing about it or aviation in general. Just because she asked the question, it made me think that we always tend to take the very long comprehensive approach to tell the story of the fight (and sometimes partnership) of these two aviation giants. But is there a way to make it synthetic?

So I guess my question here is this: if you had to tell an A vs B story, what are the key elements you would want to convey?

Not your classic A.net post but I thought I'd give it a try.

Looking forward to reading any replies to this!


Cheers
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2579 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7272 times:

I usually explain it using parallel arguments in other fields of interest which are similarly futile and childish.

For example: Apple v Android, Ford v Nissan (or any other manufacturer), Take That v 1 Direction.

Generally, one comparison will hit the spot and people understand the situation with no further explanation needed.

[Edited 2013-09-28 09:17:52]


arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineairmagnac From Germany, joined Apr 2012, 276 posts, RR: 43
Reply 2, posted (6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7166 times:

At the beginning of the 20th century, many small companies appeared in the region between 4 arbitrary lines on the map that we call "Europe" to produce awesome machines that not only fly, but can carry people and cargo while they fly. Over time some disappeared, some remained small, and some grew, but all contributed to the manufacture of more wonderful machines. At the turn of the 21st century, most of these companies had agglomerated into a single big structure with a name starting with A, which still builds wonderful aircraft packed with the best technologies mankind has to offer.

At the beginning of the 20th century, many small companies appeared in the region between 4 arbitrary lines on the map that we call "the USA" to produce awesome machines that not only fly, but can carry people and cargo while they fly. Over time some disappeared, some remained small, and some grew, but all contributed to the manufacture of more wonderful machines. At the turn of the 21st century, most of these companies had agglomerated into a single big structure with a name starting with B, which still builds wonderful aircraft packed with the best technologies mankind has to offer.

Somehow, some people seem to think it is worthwhile to fight over which one is "the best". As this is difficult to do in objective terms, as no one knows how to define "the best" anyway, and as most don't have a clue as to how the aircraft actually work, the fighters resort to inventing a great number of myths to replace the missing facts for their arguments.

I think that about sums it up  



One "oh shit" can erase a thousand "attaboys".
User currently offlineairnorth From Canada, joined Jun 2011, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7135 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 2):

Somehow, some people seem to think it is worthwhile to fight over which one is "the best". As this is difficult to do in objective terms, as no one knows how to define "the best" anyway, and as most don't have a clue as to how the aircraft actually work, the fighters resort to inventing a great number of myths to replace the missing facts for their arguments.

Thanks for that post, I think that sums it up very well!

Airnorth


User currently offlinesimprogrammer From France, joined Aug 2004, 192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6855 times:

As an Airbusser, I do admire the 777 it's a dam good piece of kit. The 737 needs a clean sheet it belongs in a museum, parts of it is from the old B720. A budget version of the A320.

The 747 is the golden era and will stay that way, legacies are judged on whether they are in the A380 club, some might disagree but pax still pick an A380 over other equipment. Surprised the 757 discontinued, it easy to fly and had range. 787 and A350 too early to tell with plastic planes, but surprised a larger frame was not considered given the 77W niche.



Drive a bus, an Airbus, easier than a London bus!
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5398 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (6 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6695 times:

For a watered down McNugget account, I'd check out the Wikipedia pages especially with Airbus.
Now for the rapid growth of Airbus, (introduction into the USA) Sorry being an American I think USA, I'd tell her:
Once the United States had a giangantic airline called Eastern. The company met with Airbus representitives and worked out a sweet deal originally leasing then purchasing the large wide body (jumbo) Airbus A300 and the rest is history. I'd also tell her about Boeing buying McDonnel Douglass making Boeing the main competitor to Airbus Industries.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2579 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6398 times:

Quoting simprogrammer (Reply 4):
The 737 needs a clean sheet it belongs in a museum, parts of it is from the old B720. A budget version of the A320.

Seriously? The 737 as you state is old. It was around long before the A320.
The 737 is not a cheap copy of anything.

Quoting simprogrammer (Reply 4):
some might disagree but pax still pick an A380 over other equipmen

Please cite your sources for this "fact"



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineHBGDS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6395 times:

Not sure this is what you seek, but what the heck. (And anyone else, thanks for refraining from flaming)

I would place it in the context of Europe trying to snap out of WWII morass: none of the technological advances in France, the UK or Germany got them a good transport (not even the national airlines really wanted the Armagnac, the Languedoc, the Hermes, or later the VC-10). Comet and Caravelle were half successes: awesome tech, limited marketing, even with a few US orders. The idea thenwas to gain both sales and maintain technological know-how. A had to be the result of a united industry. B (and Douglas) remained successful with outstanding planes.

part 2: Polk's plane: What A people (who were working earlier for other aircraft groups) learned is that you don't just pop together a plane the way it used to be done. Caravelle failed to be "more" successful because of lack of aftersales. Polk, working for AA, wanted a twin that did the job of what would be the first gen of DC-10s and L-1011. That's how the A300 came about. Initially with the Brits fully involved, soon only Hawker Siddeley (amazing wing profiles, etc...), but the SPaniards stepped in instead. Big loss: the Italians. A whole other story there.

Part 3: They cannot sell it. A has no credibility. various reasons, but methinks it's because of the failure of Concorde, even though it turns out the airbus is a good plane, but too big. Underdog phase. That whole time, by the by, B is smiling politely and sees nothing interesting in these eurodudes. And frankly, they are right. One plane on the list instead of a whole smorgasboard to chooses from (and you can see this in the ads Boeing runs in the French and German media throughout the 1970s.) The Eastern episode is a case of giving away the plane for free (well, almost--on "loan"). The fact that Eastern can fill it on the shuttle routes is what provides one of the breaktroughs.

Part 4: now it gets interesting, because both A & B identify a market spot for a plane that becomes the 767 and the A310. Let the fight truly begin, with everything you've heard about. As for MCD, they've failed to renew and mgt seems more interested in the military side of things.

Part 5: the whole subsidies fight. The short version: both do it, but Boeing as a private company that is market-listed has to show its books. However, they can rely on know-how derived from military contracts. A is not publicly listed (not till the past decade), and does not have to show the books. Yes, they get subsidies directly and dicreetly, because governments involved see a national interest in preserving techno know-how. WIthout that, you skip a generation of engineering acquisition and you lose.

Probably already too complicated, but I would check out online a couple of old issues of L'express, Le Point or Le Monde/Libération. They used to run "summaries" of these issues when new A-models came out. Or better yet, look up the old "Sciences et Vie" special issues that appeared every two years for le Bourget. These have some decent articles intended (at least through the 1990s) for a general readership.

My hat off to you for trying to speak about this to an eye-rolling teenager! I am not successful at that..


User currently onlineOldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3423 posts, RR: 67
Reply 8, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5450 times:

"The Sporty Game" by John Newhouse might give you some good insights.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sporty-Gam...mpetitive-Commercial/dp/0394514475



Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
User currently offlineSimProgrammer From France, joined Aug 2004, 192 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4339 times:

Quoting garpd (Reply 6):

I read it somewhere, can't remember but customers were reporting to Airbus that A380 still has prestige among pax when selecting a carrier.



Drive a bus, an Airbus, easier than a London bus!
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3396 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4234 times:

Airbus is THE symbol of what Europe can do if they unite.

Before WW2, each country in Europe had magnificent airplane designs, but all companies were too small, and the US quickly became dominating in WW2 (Planes like the Mustang, B 17 and so on clearly were very advanced, and the production cacity in the US became a dominating factor.

After WW2, Germany was out for around 10 years. Meanwhile, France and UK developed good planes, but both countries were too small for the world market.

So by the 1970s, they united, and each country brought its best expertise with them.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4175 times:

hatred of America disguised.

User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4057 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3923 times:

Quoting simprogrammer (Reply 4):
787 and A350 too early to tell with plastic planes

They are not "plastic" but a composite material that is much harder and more durable than plastic. Also plastic melts at relatively low temperatures and crack more easily at not as low a temperature. Carbon fiber are much stronger and much less prone to cracking under stress. They are definatly not plastic as you assert.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineracercoup From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3692 times:

Quoting SimProgrammer (Reply 9):

Even if 80% of passengers prefer a whale jet, the comment does not belong on this thread because:

1) some of the jets they are favoring the whale jet over are other Airbus models and this is an A vs B thread

2) customer preference alone does not a successful aircraft model make

Of course IMHO


User currently offlinegarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2579 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3618 times:

Quoting SimProgrammer (Reply 9):
I read it somewhere, can't remember but customers were reporting to Airbus that A380 still has prestige among pax when selecting a carrier.

Then it is no more accurate or truthful than me posting something I read somewhere that could be equally as sweeping a statement and cause arguments.
My point is, don't bring something to the table you cannot justify and verify with bonafide sources. It only contributes to A v B arguments.

[Edited 2013-09-29 05:20:18]


arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3474 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3405 times:

Once upon a time there were three US companies called B, D & L who controlled the World market for airliners. Firstly D amalgamated with M, then L fell by the wayside. Meanwhile over in Europe a mad scheme was dreamt up where a company called A would get parts of an aircraft made in lots of different factories/Countries and flown to France where they would be bolted together. A couple of decades later M was taken over by B leaving the major airlines with only two choices A or B who both now have parts of aeroplanes made in different places and fly them to a final assembly line

User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 16, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

Quoting HBGDS (Reply 7):
I would place it in the context of Europe trying to snap out of WWII morass: none of the technological advances in France, the UK or Germany got them a good transport

Not quite so, in the UK at any rate, HBGDS. In Britain, at least, the wartime requirements for bombers left them with a number of efficient designs (including four-engined ones) that could readily be converted into airliners with much greater range/capacity than pre-WW2 types. And, of course, because of the need to combat the Me262, Britain had already developed a jet fighter (the Gloster Meteor, which entered service in 1944) and were able to 'follow up' in 1949 with the De Havilland Comet, the world's first jet airliner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJcrKbeUZhc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd9Qy4q73-M

I lived through the period (as a small boy) and can clearly recall that it was a time of hope and growing confidence. Though I must admit that later on, when I spent a while 'occupying' (more accurately, 'defending'  ) West Germany, I came to realise just how much physical and mental damage Hitler had visited on the people of Germany; far more than the UK had suffered, whole city centres literally 'flattened.'

[Edited 2013-09-29 06:08:00]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinebendewire From UK - England, joined May 2011, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2877 times:

To sum up my feelings on this subject..... if it aint a Boeing I'm not going!  

User currently offlineHBGDS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2478 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 16):
In Britain, at least, the wartime requirements for bombers left them with a number of efficient designs

That's a really good point; thanks for the correction. I should have qualified that (I was thinking of everyone on food ration cards till about 1950-52).


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 19, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2356 times:

Quoting HBGDS (Reply 18):
I was thinking of everyone on food ration cards till about 1950-52

Yeah, that was the situation, mate. Went on a lot longer, actually.

I suppose that I'm lucky still (at the age of 73) to have no less than 28 teeth left....... 'Sweets' were restricted in Britain for many years after WW2..........

I really WOULD have hated to finish up depending on 'dentures'...........



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3474 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2204 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 16):
Not quite so, in the UK at any rate, HBGDS. In Britain, at least, the wartime requirements for bombers left them with a number of efficient designs (including four-engined ones) that could readily be converted into airliners with much greater range/capacity than pre-WW2 types

I think few people would think that the word efficient could be used regarding the derivatives of wartime bombers used by UK airlines after the war, sloping floors, main spars through the middle of the cabin, passenger load less than 20, meanwhile the USA had the DC4


User currently offlinepeterjohns From Germany, joined Jan 2009, 189 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2182 times:

Quoting simprogrammer (Reply 4):
but pax still pick an A380 over other equipment
Quoting SimProgrammer (Reply 9):
I read it somewhere, can't remember but customers were reporting to Airbus that A380 still has prestige among pax when selecting a carrier.

Hi everyone! I would believe to be an Airbus fan, because I believe they did a modern approach to commercial flying, and introduced fly by wire and all the other stuff.

Even as an Airbus "fan " ( actually I am a aircraft fan) I would not choose a A380 over any other given a/c because...
The LH380 seats 524 pax. Last time I flew to SFO and went through immigration, there were about 500 in line ahead of me. I know that because there were only just over 20 behind me...
An hour later I got to the Baggage carousel and again I was number last in a long queue.
So if you board or disembark a plane like a A380 think again how much you like it. I have flown with it several times, and it is a great plane, has a very nice Cockpit, it is quiet, but it has something of a large cruise ship rather than an aeroplane
I, in future would actually rather avoid flying A380 and would prefer an A330/340 any day.


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3119 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2139 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 5):
I'd also tell her about Boeing buying McDonnel Douglass making Boeing the main competitor to Airbus Industries.

Boeing was ALREADY the main competitor to Airbus before they swallowed up MDD.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7929 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 10):
So by the 1970s, they united, and each country brought its best expertise with them.

I'd say it was more around 1967, when what became the original A300 model--developed by a European consortium--finally coalesced together. Because Rolls-Royce had to drop out of the RB.207 engine project to concentrate on the RB.211 engine project, Airbus had to scale down the design to the A300B, which accommodated the General Electric CF6-50 engine.

The A300B2/B4 sold initially very poorly, but when Eastern Airlines decided to lease the plane for USA transcontinental routes and higher-density medium-range routes (and it proved to be better than anticipated), that started to attract other airlines to buy the A300B4 model. It was the increasing success of the A300B4 (and the shortened variant, the A310) that finally convinced Airbus to turn the Joint European Transport (JET) single-aisle airline research studies into the still-very successful A320 Family of airliners.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 24, posted (6 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1888 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 20):
I think few people would think that the word efficient could be used regarding the derivatives of wartime bombers used by UK airlines after the war

The Vickers Viscount (based on the Wellington bomber), which first flew in 1948, and the Bristol Britannia (1952), were both pretty successful in their time, Bongodog1964?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers_Viscount

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Britannia

[Edited 2013-09-29 22:36:10]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
25 Geo772 : An interesting book on the history of Airbus is 'Close to the Sun' by Stephen Aris. It provides some very interesting insight into the difficulties th
26 Bongodog1964 : The Vickers Wellington was a mid 1930's twin piston engine bomber, with a geodetic fuselage covered in doped fabric. Unpressurised and with a tail dr
27 Post contains links NAV20 : "The Viscount was one of the results of the UK's wartime Brabazon Committee, which was set up to define requirements for British postwar commercial a
28 Bongodog1964 : If you are going to say that you might as well say that the 787 is based on the B17, different number of engines, different construction method, diff
29 areopagus : The interposed clause just gives some background on the Vickers designers. The sentence does not imply the Viscount was a derivative of the Viking or
30 areopagus : Hmm, the Wikipedia article on the Viking is quite entertaining. So the Varsity was derived from the Wellington by progressively replacing the fuselage
31 Post contains images airmagnac : I forgot I had found the ultimate answer a couple weeks ago in India : there is no A vs B, they are one and the same !
32 Bongodog1964 : Is it any wonder it was known in RAF service as the "flying pig" These examples help to explain how we have ended up with "A vs B" the competitors th
33 Viscount724 : The Vickers Viking twin-engine piston airliner that first flew in 1945 was based on the Wellington bomber, not the Viscount which was a completely ne
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Very Basic Question RE EMB 170 Vs 190 posted Fri Sep 9 2005 07:05:38 by DLKAPA
Today In History:A Very Historical Event posted Wed Jan 19 2005 00:13:46 by B741
Pilot Falls Asleep At Controls Of VS A330 posted Thu Sep 26 2013 07:33:37 by dirtyfrankd
DL-VS JV Approved; New JFK-LHR Schedule posted Mon Sep 23 2013 13:52:44 by panamair
Richard Branson - VS Likely To Join Skyteam posted Thu Sep 19 2013 04:04:22 by factsonly
History Of Cathay Pacific posted Mon Sep 16 2013 18:56:29 by celestar
When Did A Vs. B Become A And B? posted Sun Sep 15 2013 11:53:46 by DeltaRules
777-200ER Vs 777-200LR Prices posted Fri Sep 13 2013 06:25:07 by rw774477
Delta Vs Pratt And Whitney posted Sat Sep 7 2013 11:33:23 by eal46859
Most Efficient hub for DL and US: PHX vs SLC posted Thu Sep 5 2013 15:35:23 by avi8